5 reasons you should curb your phone addiction

If you’re like most millennials, your smartphone has become an integral part of your daily routine (and probably multiple aspects of said routine). Despite the pleasure and meaning we get out of our devices, it may be time to take a step back to realize just how reliant we are. Recent studies indicate an uptick in our dependence and addiction to our phones. This dependency can get in the way of professional and personal growth. Here are just a few worrying effects of cell phone addiction and reasons why it’s paramount to curb your addiction now.

 

1. Smartphones eat up your time

If it feels like there aren’t enough hours in your day, it could be time to turn off that smartphone. A Baylor University study found that college women spent an astounding average of 10 hours on their cell phones each day, while university men spent 8 hours. All this time could be better spent studying, socializing face-to-face, working, interning, exercising, cooking, sleeping…In fact there aren’t many activities less beneficial for you than simply staring at your smartphone. It doesn’t add much value to your life, yet it takes up an unbelievable amount of time.

 

2. Curbing phone use will make you sleep better

Bright light exposure at night sends a message to your body that makes it much more difficult to fall asleep at night, taking on a role similar to caffeine. In fact, the light emitted by cell phones can deter sleep twice as long as coffee can. Meanwhile, young people frequently fall asleep with their phones or other devices in bed with them, some 68% of 18 to 29-year-olds. Decide to turn off your phone an hour or two before your night routine to reduce the negative impact on your sleep habits. Plug your phone in to charge as far from your bed as possible – in the other room, if possible.

 

effects of cell phone addiction

 

3. Smartphones can kill

It may sound dramatic, but if you look at the numbers, an alarming amount of young people die each year from texting while driving – some 3,000 each year in the US alone. We’ve all done it, even though the consequences can be fatal. Statistics indicate that cell phone use while driving is actually 6 times more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk, making it a leading danger on the road.

 

4. Phone overuse can cause your personal relationships to suffer

Instead of bringing us together, phone overuse can actually tank our social lives. Distracted from living in the moment and actively listening, young people are missing out on opportunities to genuinely connect to their peers. This is partly due to the prevalence of smartphone use in social situations. Hide that smartphone during social events and you’ll be a happier, more trusted and respected friend.

 

effects of cell phone addiction

 

5. Nomophobia

There is a name for the fear of being without your cell phone: nomophobia. And it’s a very real thing. A survey by the UK’s SecurEnvoy showed that 66% of those polled in the UK suffer from nomophobia. There’s also this thing called Phantom Pocket Vibration Syndrome, which means you imagine your phone is vibrating. A study at Indiana University showed that this phenomena occurred among 89% of undergraduates participating in the study.

 

Now that you know the scary effects of cell phone addiction, learn more about how to improve your professional and personal skills abroad through an international internship.

 

 

Sources: https://www.edgarsnyder.com/car-accident/cause-of-accident/cell-phone/cell-phone-statistics.html, http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/25/living/10-signs-smartphone-addiction-digital-life/, http://about.att.com/content/dam/snrdocs/It%20Can%20Wait%20Compulsion%20Survey%20Key%20Findings_9%207%2014.pdf, http://www.naturallivingideas.com/16-seriously-damaging-side-effects-of-your-smartphone-addiction/, https://www.securenvoy.com/blog/2012/02/16/66-of-the-population-suffer-from-nomophobia-the-fear-of-being-without-their-phone/, http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/wellness/a24269/smartphone-syndromes/, http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/09/health/smartphones-harm-sleep/

 

Photos:

1. based on Phone addicts, by Jeanne Menjoulet, CC-by-2.0

2. based on iPhone, by Yeray Hdez Guerra, CC-by-2.0

3. based on iPhone, by yoppy, CC-by-2.0

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Elizabeth Trovall

After short stints in Argentina and Belize, Elizabeth is finishing up her fourth year in Santiago, Chile. Elizabeth writes about international internships, life abroad and professional development for The Intern Group. She also reports on politics, business and culture in Latin America for public radio and print media. An Austin, Texas native, Elizabeth first left home to earn her journalism degree from the Reynolds Institute of Journalism at the University of Missouri. Besides her friends and family, she misses live music and Mexican food the most.
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